An eBay spokesperson tells Ars that “virtual game items” are now banned on eBay’s US and UK sites. This includes everything from accounts to characters to currency to items. The new policy was instituted “due to the legal complexity associated with these types of items.” If you don’t play such massively multiplayer online games, this might sound like a small change that will only affect a limited number of people, but serious money is at stake, and eBay is walking away from it faster than a Puritan from Second Life. The Korean market for in-game goods and gold is estimated to be worth $1 billion a year and has gained enough prominence to be the target of potential legislation there. Korean gold farmers, who profit from their activities in these virtual worlds, even formed a trade group to defend their business model.
Read this article from Ars with commentary from C|Net’s Blogma and Gaming Blog. More virtual goods (video) in action from C|Net. Previously from WNM: Death & (Virtual) Taxes and A Second Life; a lot like the first.